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What is… a Drop on Curtains and Net Curtains

A picture of a window with curtains

When we’re talking about curtains, the word ‘drop’ has two different meanings. We use ‘drop’ to refer to the total finished length of the curtain from top to bottom, but you might also hear it used by our curtain-makers talking about how many widths of fabric are to be used in your curtains.

How do we work out the drop?

Your curtains hang from a pole or track, either inside or outside the window reveal. This means that the curtains will either close across the windows inside the window recess or will close right across the whole window opening, leaving a bigger gap between window and curtains.You can usually choose which look you prefer, based on the size and design of your windows, how much space (clearance) there is around your window reveal to hang a pole or track, and other factors like whether you have a radiator or a piece of furniture under the window.

The drop is the exact finished length of the curtain, but where this is measured from depends on the type of curtain heading. If you are replacing a set of curtains and having the same heading, you can just measure the length of the existing curtains. Otherwise you will have to measure from your existing track or pole. If your track or pole is not yet up you can estimate the length, but a final measurement will be needed once it is in place. There are more details on our instructions on how to measure for curtains.

Net curtains

Net curtains usually hang on a curtain wire or a pole. Our net curtains come with a channel at the top for the wire or pole; for cafe nets this will be a series of holes. The net curtains and cafe nets we sell are ready to hang, with the channel already sewn in.

You measure the drop from just above the wire or pole to the window sill, or wherever you want the curtain to finish. You’ll generally want to hang your net curtains close against the window and within the reveal and finish them just above the window sill in order to give privacy. Our net curtains are available a range of standard drops; choose the nearest drop available that is smaller than your measurement to buy. If this is too small, try a larger drop and cut it down, creating a new channel at the top. Our makers can do this for you if required. You can learn more about how to measure and choose net curtains here.

What else does drop mean?

Confusingly, we also use the word in another way when talking about curtain-making. We often refer to the number of ‘drops’ used to make a curtain. This means the number of widths of fabric used, with the width referring to one full width of fabric. A maker might refer to a pair of curtains with two drops per curtain, meaning four drops of fabric. This is important because he cost of making curtains is based on an amount per drop; if your curtains require 2 drops/widths in each curtain, your quote will be for the drop price x 4.

Check out our webshop to browse any of the curtain fabrics and net curtains we sell online!

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